The Silvery Tree

by Houghton Piker

I feel for you, child, for your tale of despair.
I have my own, are you not aware?
You think I left you with naught but a name
But what I was left with was a sad little shame.
See, when I was a tippler of only three
My dear old dad came to talk to me
Raging and red-faced, he announced he was dying
And he said just to listen and said to stop crying.
He said he was leaving a gift just for me
He said, ''Look out front and see that Silvery Tree.''
He told me I'd never, ever need fear
That this valuable tree would always be here.
Poor, hungry, or sad I'd never be
For the tall silvery tree would take care of me.
For years I would water that tree every day
and when dogs came around I shooed them away.
For I came to care for my Silvery Tree,
knowing that somehow it would take care of me.
I imagined its treasure was its bright shiny fruit
or that riches were buried under its roots.
Then suddenly one day, my Daddy was gone.
Uncle Gower took me from the funeral home.
On the bus, with a bottle, he patted my head
''It's sure gotta suck with your dad being dead.''
But I said, ''Oh, nothing shall e'er happen to me.
Daddy has left me the Silvery Tree!''
I looked up and Uncle followed my gaze,
And his eyes, for a second, lost their usual glaze.
What happened next, you should listen to most:
Was then Uncle said, ''What? The frikkin' lamppost?''
Many years later I knew the rest of the truth
Daddy had left town with a stripper named Ruth
He faked his own death in order to flee
and left me with naught but that sonofabitchin' Silvery Tree.

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